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JOKR All Smiles With $50M Series D
Newsom vetoes AV regs, Jenny Craig meal kits, DoorDash local ads
Joke’s on you — instant delivery innovator JOKR is laughing all the way to the bank, proving doubters wrong as it raises a fresh $50 million. AV enthusiasts are also smiling, as California Governor Newsom gave them a big reprieve with his veto pen. On the more old school side of things, we’ve got some news from Jenny Craig, and we’ve spied an ad from DoorDash.
JOKR Keeps Laughing with $50M Series D
AV Trucking Fights on in California
Chart Time | DoorDash’s Low-Tech Advertising
Jenny Craig Launches Meal Kits
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QUICK COMMERCE | JOKR Raises A Fresh $50 Million
Instant delivery startup JOKR secured $50M in Series D funding, coming in at a post-money valuation of $800M. This comes rather quickly after the company raised another $50M in February, at a $1.3B valuation. The new round is led by the investment arm of liquor giant Pernod Ricard, and includes funding from existing marque investors like Greycroft and Tiger Global. The company sees the down-round as a relative win, given market conditions, as investors didn’t ask for any additional board seats or put strings on the investment.
The Big Picture: The company has seemingly found new footing as it retrenched to LatAm, where it operates in Brazil as Daki. The company used to have a much larger footprint, spanning most of South America, along with the U.S. and Europe, but is now cutting its way towards profitability, a pattern we can see at competitors like Getir. Currently JOKR claims a 25% gross profit rate, a 10,000 SKU selection (~4x the inventory norm of its peers) and of course a growing advertising business — ads account for 10% of the company’s revenue.
AUTONOMY | AV Trucking Gets Governor Newsom’s Blessing
California’s Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have required human safety drivers in heavy-duty autonomous trucks. The bill had been backed by the Teamsters but was opposed by Silicon Valley interest groups, setting it up for a clash among two of the heaviest hitters in a state known both for high technology but also a logistics sector that employs hundreds of thousands. With the bill defeated, trucking regulation will remain the domain of the DMV, which is now crafting rules to decide when self-driving trucks can hit the road sans driver. (A separate agency, the CPUC, oversees robotaxi fares.)
The Big Picture: After a rocky start to the year, AV trucks are really hitting the gas, and investors are noticing. Germany’s Fernride just pulled in a $50M Series A for its autonomous electric yard trucking. Autonomous driver as a service startup Waabi just scored a strategic partnership with Uber Freight, perhaps helped by the fact that Waabi’s Founder used to be high up at Uber ATG. And of course a few weeks back we saw Stack AV raise a whopping billion dollar round.
CHART TIME | Peep DoorDash’s Local Advertising
OK this one isn’t quite a chart, but it’s some graphical intel of equal importance. Take a look at the local advertising DoorDash is doing in Brooklyn, these were being handed out at the Jay St Metrotech subway station — located around the corner from the company’s ghost kitchen / food hall. (but the ad seemed unrelated to that side business.) On the back of the flyer it highlighted a roster of national brands that you can find on the app, like Little Caesar’s (we imagine that was more an incentive as part of a larger partnership, less so that data shows New Yorkers crave that particular brand of pie…)
MEAL KITS | Jenny Craig Starts Shipping Meals in the Mail
Jenny Craig, a brand once synonymous with dieting, is reemerging as a new meal kit contender. For those not following the saga, Jenny Craig went bankrupt earlier this year; its IP was purchased by Wellful Inc, operator of weight-loss and supplement brands like Nutrisystem and Peptiva. While most meal kit brands focus largely on dinner, the new Jenny Craig is looking to supply a consumer’s entire day: each box contains two weeks worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts and nutrition bars, priced at between $18.39 and $25 per day depending on promotions.
The Big Picture: While Jenny Craig’s old brick and mortar business model struggled in an era of Ozempic and online everything, this new foray is going to have to fight for viability as well. Industry heavyweights like Blue Apron and HelloFresh have seen their stocks battered; the latter is down an impressive 99.61% since it IPOed. It’s a tough vertical — while “ship to home” groceries grew to around $2.5B in domestic sales during the height of the pandemic, the sector currently languishes at around $1.4-1.6B. Even the company credited with inventing the concept, Sweden’s Middagsfrid, was effectively wound down in 2018 after 11 years of operation.
A Few Good Links
Zomato unveils feature to let delivery customers tip kitchen staff. FedEx sees package volume slip. Shopify adds Snap, TikTok, Criteo integrations. Rent the Runway signs deal with UPS to lock in reduced shipping rates. Panera Bread appoints new board members as it preps for IPO. London exploring new regulations for ebikes and shared scooters. Firefighters save confused delivery bots. Kyochon Chicken trials Neubility’s robots.
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